Top Ten

June 26, 2009

FNUC professor says university is being "picked on"

At an open house last Thursday at the First Nations University of Canada's Saskatoon campus, university officials took aim at the federal and Saskatchewan governments for partially withholding funding from the institution until it makes changes to its governance. One faculty member says FNUC is being "picked on," and urges the government to "just get off its pot and start doing something more positive." An Indian and Northern Affairs Canada spokesperson says the funding condition will remain, with the next deadline scheduled for late November. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Couple fired from CNA Qatar claim college is withholding records

A Corner Brook couple fighting the termination of their employment with College of the North Atlantic's Qatar campus in court allege that CNA is trying to prevent access to college files relevant to their case by saying those documents have been lost. Peter McBreairty, who was fired in 2003 for allegedly violating the college's admissions policies, has been trying to access several student applications, and states that the idea of over 14 applications having gone missing is "astounding." McBreairty, who alleges that the case against him has been falsely constructed, has accused CNA of either systematically losing or destroying files relating to his termination. McBreairty's wife Eileen has also been in court trying to obtain records from CNA. Western Star

$4 million for Mount Allison chemistry building upgrades

The federal and New Brunswick governments announced Friday $4.3 million in joint infrastructure funding for renovations to Mount Allison University's Barclay Chemistry and Biochemistry Building. The funds are part of a $178- million investment from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for capital projects at NB campuses. NB News Release | Mount Allison News Release

Northern US colleges offer in-state tuition to Canadians

Last month, Montana-based Miles Community College was granted permission to offer Saskatchewan residents in-state tuition. The move is meant to fill seats at the college, which is operating at 50% classroom capacity, and will not cost the school extra. For the last 5 years, North Dakota-based Minot State University has offered in-state tuition to all Canadian students, which has helped raise the school's awareness in Canada and stabilized its Canadian enrolment. Maine's 7 community colleges offer New Brunswick residents in-state tuition as part of an agreement in which Maine residents pay domestic fees at any New Brunswick Community College campus. Inside Higher Ed

Application boom at CNC Prince George campus

The Prince George BC campus of College of the New Caledonia is expecting record student enrolment for the 2009-2010 academic year. There has been a 20% jump in overall applications over this time last year. Several programs have received applications that are double or triple the amount of seats available. The growth in applications is being attributed to interest in retraining due to higher unemployment, as well as more families wanting their children to pursue PSE closer to home to save money. Prince George Citizen

Oshawa committee approves Trent campus proposal

Last Thursday, the City of Oshawa's development services committee approved an official plan amendment to allow Trent University to build a new $22-million satellite campus on a portion of the former Civic Auditorium site and a former school site. The committee also voted to offer the university a 75-year option to lease the auditorium lands at a cost of $1 a year. At a public meeting earlier this month, Oshawa residents voiced concerns about the proposal, citing issues of student housing and increased traffic. Durham Region News

Repair costs for fire-damaged WLU residence exceed $1 million

The cost to repair a Wilfrid Laurier University residence damaged by a fire that claimed the life of a 19-year student in April has risen to $1.2 million. Earlier estimates pegged repairs to cost between $400,000 and $500,000, but an examination of the residence found that additional work needed to be done, including replacing a rooftop mechanical unit that cools and heat the building. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Waterloo Region Record

Update on NIC trades centre

A new skills development and trades training centre for North Island College's Comox Valley campus is on schedule to welcome students in September 2010, according to an update presented to the college's board of governors. The facility is expected to be the biggest building on campus, NIC's president told the board. The 1,110-square-metre building will feature carpentry and multi-purpose workshops, as well as space for marine training simulators. In April, NIC received $8.2 million in infrastructure funding from the BC and federal governments for the project. Comox Valley Record

uCalgary to merge arts and social sciences faculties

Last Thursday, the University of Calgary's board of governors voted in favour of unifying the faculties of humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and communications and culture into a single faculty. The move is meant to facilitate an improved and seamless university experience for students studying arts and social sciences. The new administrative structure will bring uCalgary in line with other G13 universities, many of which have one or 2 arts and social science-type faculties. The new faculty will launch April 1, 2010. uCalgary News

US may need "fewer but better" research universities

With the economic downturn and stronger competition worldwide, the US may have to reduce the number of research institutions in the country, according to the Association of American Universities. While the association is not making specific recommendations relating to such a reduction, its president suggests that in the case of public universities, states could be asked to name priorities for which research institutions should be preserved and how that could be achieved. The idea of reducing the number of research universities may face opposition at both state and federal levels, where scientific research is a priority. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)